Chipotle Wants to Embrace Curbside Pickup

Chipotle Wants to Embrace Curbside Pickup
When ordering from participating restaurants, consumers can select "Carside Pickup" in the checkout section of the Chipotle app.

A new test from Chipotle could help pave the way for more curbside pickup among food service providers — and comes at a time of ongoing expansion of that fulfillment service among various sectors of retail.

The chain said it is testing Chipotle Carside at 29 restaurants in California. For the first time, customers of the provider of Mexican-style food can get Chipotle items delivered right to their parked cars using the Chipotle app.

While this new Chipotle test is not the biggest curbside effort recently launched, the news illustrates that in 2021, that service continues to gain steam. Crate and Barrel, for instance, recently enhanced its curbside pickup with Glympse, a day-of-service mobile communications platform that facilitates and delivers proactive engagement between customers and store associates.

Not only that, but Costco is testing curbside pickup after long resisting that move.

Chipotle is announcing its new curbside push as the retailer is about to run its first TV ad during the Super Bowl.

When ordering from participating restaurants, consumers can select "Carside Pickup" in the checkout section of the Chipotle app.

After the order is confirmed, the following instructions will be displayed:

  • Head to the restaurant.
  • Park in a spot as close as possible to the restaurant.
  • Open the Chipotle app and tap the "I'm Here" button.
  • A Chipotle team member will bring the order to the car.
  • Customers will also be able to select their vehicle type and color in the app, including typing in their car's make.

"As our digital business evolves, we are continuing to explore ways to remove friction and increase access to our real food," said Curt Garner, chief technology officer. "Chipotle Carside unlocks a new, highly convenient pick up experience for guests from our restaurants' parking lots."

Since the pandemic began, one out of three new customers have tried Chipotle through digital ordering channels. In third quarter 2020, Chipotle's digital sales tripled year over year and accounted for 48.8% of sales for the quarter.

Earlier this month, Chipotle added its concierge chat bot, Pepper, to the Chipotle app to ensure that guests have an exceptional experience. App customers can now select from frequently asked questions or ask their own questions to get a response quickly. 

Over the past year, Chipotle has rolled out a series of innovations to support the massive growth of its digital business, including its first Digital Kitchen located just outside of the gates to the military academy in Highland Falls, New York, the newest Chipotle restaurant design only services pickup and delivery orders.

As well, Chipotlanes, the brand's drive-thru digital order pickup lanes, are expected to be included in the majority of new Chipotle restaurants opening this year.

Customers also can order on Facebook Messenger by visiting or the Chipotle page on the Facebook app and selecting the "Message Us" option.

For individuals dining with family or close friends, they can use Chipotle's Group Ordering feature by simply selecting "start a group order" on the Chipotle app or Group Ordering allows multiple people to participate in the ordering process simultaneously.

Finally, the Unlimited Customization feature in the Chipotle app allows fans to make any ingredient light, standard or extra, replicating the in-restaurant ordering experience digitally. 

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